Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy


Rare Books Collection


Early editions in the history of science and medicine, history of ideas, philosophy, images of classical antiquity, humanist thought and related political and religious suppression, German Reformation pamphlets and popular propaganda in woodcut or other graphic arts, travel and exploration, American history with special emphasis on pre-1800 colonial imprints and newspapers, slave trade and emancipation materials to support Elbert Collection. With current emphasis on Book Studies in the curriculum, print or manuscript materials from the early modern period that document the book as material and cultural object--- e.g., owners’ marks, binders’ waste, national style or other unique attributes, are sought.


Textbooks, partial sets, publishers’ series, post-1800 Bibles and sermons, personal archives and papers are not usually acquired.


Book Arts Collection


Contemporary and retrospective fine press, limited editions, and unique artists’ books in all media. Must have significant content relating to rare books and poetry collection, relevant content on cultural, political, and social themes, documentation of historical and present world affairs, high quality of craft and synthesis of materials and structure. Growing emphasis on European artists, world languages and cultures, comparative literature, women’s studies, and visual typography.


In general, we are not acquiring blank books, decorated books, designer bindings, deluxe editions, pop-up books, or sculptural book-objects requiring gallery or wall display.


Secondary sources, such as reference and technical works to support Book Arts Lab and Book Studies are acquired as needed.


English Poetry Collection


New acquisitions build on the strength of George Herbert Palmer’s original collection in early English poetry and literature. Areas of growth are early modern novels by women, poetry in translation, limited editions from fine press publishers, writer/artist private press collaborations with original graphic art, retrospective works of the early 20th century Avant Garde art and poetry movements, such as Surrealism, German Expressionism, Futurism, Dada, and Fluxus.  


Popular literature or modern first editions are not added, unless they have special provenance, or are not present in any edition in the general collection.


Juvenile Collection


This is a relatively static collection, mainly acquired through past gifts. The Juvenile Collections is representative of 18th-20th century popular children's literature for entertainment and useful instruction. It is not intended to be exhaustive of any one genre or author. Its primary use is for education and history courses, so that any new acquisitions must have a curricular connection. Books written from an English or American perspective on the moral, religious, and social differences of foreign cultures are of interest, especially in the 18th-19th centuries. Seeking colonial American imprints and educational games.